Qtel raises stake in Tunisiana

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has increased its stake in Tunisiana, a private telco in Tunisia, in its latest move to expand its footprint in the Middle East and North Africa.
In a statement released Tuesday, Qtel said it has reached an agreement with the Tunisian government to acquire a further 15% stake in Tunisiana for $360 million (€271 million), boosting its stake to 90%.
The Tunisian government will hold on to the remaining 10% and may sell the stake through a public offering in the future, according to the statement.
H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani, chairman of Qtel Group, said the acquisition would continue to deliver long term value for the company’s shareholders.
 “We also look forward to continuing our partnership with the Tunisian authorities as Tunisiana enters into a new phase of its development with the continuing expansion of 3G services and the launch of fixed line services in 2013. We are convinced that these new services will enhance the experience of Tunisiana’s customers and will contribute to growth in Tunisia’s economy,” he added.
The acquisition is the Doha-based company’s latest attempt at increasing its footprint beyond its home market. Qtel spent $3.27 billion (€2.46 billion) last year to buy stakes in companies in Kuwait and Iraq.